We talked earlier this month about our month-three challenge for teaching your children to live more like Jesus. This month we are adding to our previous challenges of encouraging your children to read their Bibles and pray independently. The challenge this month is to help them develop meaningful relationships with a variety of strong Christians. Men and women who are godly and are willing to help mentor your children. Other children and teens whose parents are actively parenting their children towards God.
Some of you may be wondering how spending time with Christians reflects Jesus and his life. Wasn’t Jesus known for ministering to people who often were rejected by the religious leaders of the time as ungodly? Shouldn’t our children be spending their time trying to share their faith with children who don’t know God? Isn’t that how Jesus lived His life?
Actually Jesus did both. Jesus spent a lot of time with people who loved God. Sure the Apostles didn’t really understand everything, but one thing we rarely focus on is that they loved God very much. Even Paul, who was persecuting Christians before he became one, was passionate about God. Jesus spent much of his time trying to reach the lost, but he always had his inner circle who loved God.
Yes, he was training his inner circle to spread the Kingdom after he returned to Heaven, but I believe there was another aspect to the relationship. Jesus needed to have a group of friends who loved God passionately. Misunderstood things for sure, but their love for God was never in question. Jesus could spend at least part of his time with people who could understand his passion for serving and obeying God.
More than once in the New Testament, the writers discuss that one of the roles of the Church is to encourage each other and to “spur” each other to good works. God knows it can be exhausting trying to serve others and share your faith. Yes, there are some who accept God, but there are also many others who reject or ridicule us for our beliefs. We need to take some time to be with others who will encourage us to continue doing what God has called us to do.
What have you done this month to help your children get closer to other Christians? Are you choosing people who are not only godly, but are encouragers? Are you exposing your children to people who serve God regularly and with all of their hearts? Are your children spending time with people who “leak” God’s love (thanks Bob Goff!) to everyone they touch? If not, I want you to stop right now and call or email a Christian you know. Invite them to meet you and your children for an ice cream. Have them over for dinner. Suggest your two families take a walk in the park together. Help your children grow closer to godly, Christian encouragers who will help them be strong as they continue their Christian walk. After your interaction, please comment below and let me know what you did together. It may give others ideas of how to help their children develop their own relationships with Christians.